Ralph Durand, author and explorer, was Librarian of the Priaulx Library from 1929-1945, and the curator of the Island Museum from 1938-45.
Mary, shown in the illustration in front of the Drillot's farmhouse, meets her future grandmother-in-law, a Guernsey farmer's widow, Marion Drillot; Marion's costume is described in detail. By Frances Carey Brock, from her moralistic but entertaining novel, Clear shining after rain: a Guernsey story, in the Library collection, published in 1871.
A cheeky tale, suspiciously similar to Boccaccio's Decameron, from The Stranger's Guide to Guernsey and Jersey, 1833, pp. 128 ff., written by Dr Thomas Bellamy. 'In an old book, now out of print and very scarce, published in 1590, entitled Morgan's Feats of the Cardinals, is the following ludicrous account of the midnight ramble of a gentleman, sent from the island of Guernsey to Naples, in Italy, to buy horses.' The detail is from the frontispiece of the Library's 1566 edition of the Chroniques et Annales de France, Vol. I.
A poem reproduced in J. Linwood Pitts' Guernsey and its Bailiwick, 1889.
Edward Le Mesurier was the son of Havilland Le Mesurier and Elizabeth Dobrée. He was a lieutenant in the Royal Navy before settling in Genoa, where he married Amelia Augusta Wright.
The swarthy locals and their barbarous dialect, an excerpt from the Dublin University Magazine, 1846. This is no doubt based on Inglis' 1834 description of the Guernsey peasant: 'I cannot greatly compliment the personal appearance of the Guernsey country people. There are dark and sparkling eyes among the women .... The men are, with few exceptions, badly limbed; and among the women too, the bust is better than the ankles.'
The sprightly Muse her wing displays. And the French islands first surveys—Drayton's poetic description of Britain, written in 1612, opens with the Channel Islands. This is the 1813 rendition into modern English by Robert Southey. The Library has a facsimile of the 1622 edition, published for the Spenser Society in 1889.
The poet George Métivier's family home, St George in the Câtel (the painting of the house is by Young, 1821), was planted with cherry trees, about which he fondly reminisced, along with the birds that feasted on them. Here are some excerpts from the Guernsey Magazine of November 1884 about cherries, taken from a series called 'Guernsey Popular Names of Plants, as compared with those in other places,' No. 8, 'Based on Mr Métivier's Glossaire.'
Written in September, 1763, by the Christian visionary, Christopher Smart. The photograph of a Guernsey lily, which flowers in autumn, is from the Carel Toms collection.
A poem in Guernsey French, author unknown, about the demolition of Fountain Street and the building of the Markets, quoted by Louisa Lane Clarke in The Folk Lore of Guernsey and Sark, 1880. The linguistic notes are hers.